Monday, May 25, 2009

Let Your CV do the Talking

Can a resume interact? Like run my potential recruiters through the work I have done in the form of images, give them a feel of my career growth so far, enable them to see my university degrees or how about allowing them to actually see me?

Sounds over-imaginative? Not really – it’s actually happening – Visual resumes or interactive CVs or Resume 2.0s are a reality today. It is your web based or online profile comprising details of your work experiences, education, and other professional particulars wherein you could add images of your work, university degree certificates, charts and graphs of your career growth so far and if that’s not enough an introductory audio or a video of yourself elaborating on your skills and strength areas.

And all of it goes to the employer in the form of a web link which they just click instead of having to download the conventional word doc or PDF CVs. These online visual profiles can also be imported to social networking sites like Linkedin, Twitter etc.

Some of the sites you could go to for creating Visual resumes are:

VisualCV (I have used this one and for the first time I found something that allowed me to upload samples of my newsletters, copies of my media articles etc. It makes my profile look more complete now.)
NavAgility
Wordle
Picture-it-Solved On Blogpost
Slideshare

But why bother, aren’t the word docs we send good enough? Sure but try answering these: in the last 2 months how many jobs have you applied for and how many calls did you get? Does it range in a ratio of 20:2,3 or max 5?

Why would potential recruiters notice your resume that looks alike thousands of others lying there? With the job market going erratic than ever everybody is as insecure and desperate for a good job as you are.

You could be more skilled than the average – but are you positioning it well? Is your resume standing out?
In an online group discussion at Linkedin an HR team leader of an American retail major stated that technology is fast changing recruitment methods – today recruiters ‘google’ applicants’ profiles to come to a decision soon how the information is represented on the web will also be deciding factor.

Others ask if a visual profile would answer the vital question: "Do you have the skills, training and experience to succeed in this new role?" Many feel visual CVs are only for creative jobs.

To me these arguments sound like those conventional resistances before any change. Afterall an online resume does not only give you details of the work, education and skills (like a traditional CV) additionally it provides the room to substantiate your claims with visual proofs.

I spoke to a few Indian HR and people managers to find out whether there’s any such trend in India. Informed Guruvayurappan, head HR, Omega Healthcare, “I haven’t yet received any CV with visuals. I feel before visual resumes make headway into the Indian job markets they need to tackle issues like size of such files and employers’ infrastructural ability and secondly HR fraternity in India isn’t yet tech savvy enough so awareness about it hasn’t really spread.”

I asked my manager if he’s received any. “So far none! Even the HR doesn’t prefer one because of the size of the files,” says he. Padmini P, leading a team of tech writers hasn’t yet see seen any CV with photos, images or graphics, so far it’s only been PDFs.

I still checked with some more.

Training manager with a software company Binu Kurup too says she hasn’t yet seen CVs with graphics and images as such. “I think the main reason is most of the automated HR tools accept only text based CVs as they are easy to parse. But I would love to see visual resumes as it is a better choice, than reading volumes of text.”

Web designing manager Suresh Nayar adds, “I do get some CVs where the portfolio could be located online but not yet a microwebsite which would house their profile, projects and their contacts. In my field, I would love to see an online portfolio and that really helps me gauge their creative potential.”

Looks like while none that I spoke to has actually seen a visual resume, many are quite excited about it as it will give them a better view of the applicant’s candidature. One reservation which has been stated is the file size and employers’ infrastructures to accept/download them. Well, since it’s a web link accessing it could be as seamless as accessing any image/video heavy sites like a youtube.com.

Some of the cautions, however, you could take before trying a visual resume are:

- Don’t get overwhelmed and end up making it too vague with only images and graphics in it
- Balance content and images
- Do not jazz it up too much
- When sending the profile link mention that it is a secure link
- To be begin with send your plain text CVs as attachments and mention link to you online profile in the email

The ultimate idea is to get noticed!!!

Cheers
Jhinuk

3 comments:

  1. this is wonderful jhinuk :) will certainly try

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  2. I agree whole-heartedly! The aim of a CV is to get noticed! With media becoming easier to use, and the Internet becoming a part of work and play, interactive CV's with audio-visual content is definitely the way forward.

    Working for a production house. I produce video content for corporate entities exhibitions, etc. If it makes so much of a difference in the corporate world, how can it not have an impact when it comes to individuals?

    Arnab

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